★★★★

Slow Cooker Balsamic Shredded Beef

Another easy dinner recipe! Shredded Beef made in the slow cooker with balsamic glaze is perfect when you crave comfort food but don’t want to turn on the oven.

Shredded beef over a pile of smashed potatoes on a white plate.

I think I’ve mentioned it once or twice that I love my Slow Cooker!

We seriously use it for dinner recipes 3-4 times a week. You can never have too many recipes for slow cooker meals and this slow cooker Shredded Beef is a new favorite.

With after school activities as well as homework, the dinner hour can be quite hectic!

So this slow cooker thing? It’s been a part of my life for many many years! Ironically enough, I still use the same slow cooker I got as a wedding present, almost 18 years ago!

It’s ugly as heck, but it works just great.

Let’s get back to this beef though.

Choose the right beef

A versatile dinner starter, shredded beef cooks beautifully in the crock pot.

We love it served over mashed potatoes, piled onto toasted buns for a hot sandwich or all on its own with whatever sides you fancy.

I like using a chuck roast, with lots of marbling. This ensures that when you slow cook it, the fat renders into the meat and become fork tender!

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Why Balsamic

Balsamic is one of those ingredients I never really cooked with much in the past.

Then a couple years ago I made balsamic pork tenderloin.

This vinegar adds such complexity to any meat, bringing out its natural juices and complementing the savory flavors so well.

My life was changed. These two dinners are now on my favorites list and get rotated into our menu once a month! I hope you rotate them into your dinner menu soon!

Looking for an instant pot beef recipe? Try this take on Balsamic beef I
 made in my instant pot to fantastic results! 

What You’ll Need

Like all the best slow cooker dinner recipes, making this Balsamic Beef is as easy as dumping everything in your crock pot, turning it on and letting it cook.

Here’s what I used to make this Slow Cooker Shredded Beef recipe: 

  •  chuck roast
  •  beef broth
  •  light brown sugar
  •  balsamic vinegar
  •  soy sauce
  • garlic
  • red pepper flakes 

To prepare the roast, you whisk together all the liquid ingredients and seasonings in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the chuck roast, cover with a lid and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.

The beef will be extremely tender and fall apart easily when you remove it from the pot. Shred it with a fork then return it back to all those delicious juices.

It’s ready to serve right away but also keeps well in the fridge for several days. This makes a lot of meat so you’re likely to have leftovers for lunches the next day!

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Tips and Tricks for Shredded Beef

  • I used a 5 lb roast, you can certainly use a smaller roast if you don’t think your family will eat that much meat. The excess sauce is delicious to reserve for mashed potatoes!
  • Want to make this a freezer meal? Easy. Cook the beef as directed then transfer to a freezer safe bag, juices and all. Thaw in the fridge and reheat to have a nearly instant dinner next time you need it.
  • Time saving tip: whisk the ingredients for the sauce together on the weekend when you have a few minutes, then store in the fridge. When you’re ready to cook the beef, just pour the contents into the slow cooker and proceed as directed. A perfect hack for preparing a slow cooker meal in the morning!

What to serve with shredded beef

Not sure how to serve this Balsamic Beef? There’s no wrong way!

My family raved about the shredded beef served over a mound of  Mashed Potatoes. The juices turn into a perfect gravy for the potatoes that I could probably eat with a spoon all on its own.

You can also serve shredded balsamic beef with sandwich rolls or hamburger buns! Leftovers are great served as sandwiches and wraps, too.

Baked Potatoes and Roasted Broccoli and Zucchini  are other great side dishes that would pair well with this shredded beef dinner.

Whip up a batch of Sweet Potato Fries or Baked French fries for another tasty side.

Forkful of shredded beef and mashed potatoes.

Tangy and aromatic with just a hint of brown sugar sweetness, this beef holds nothing back when it comes to taste!

The fact that it cooks on its own in the slow cooker with almost no hands-on prep time is a major bonus.

Add this to your weekly dinner rotation soon; you’re going to love it!

MORE Easy Dinner Recipes

Yield: serves 8

Slow Cooker Balsamic Shredded Beef

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes

Shredded Beef made in the slow cooker with balsamic glaze is perfect when you crave comfort food but don't want to turn on the oven.

Ingredients

  • 5lb beef chuck roast
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed

Instructions

  1. Whisk together all the ingredients and add to the bottom of a slow cooker. Add roast. Covere and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove roast and shred with a fork, return to juices.
  2. Serve and enjoy. The gravy is delicious with mashed potatoes too!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 724Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 235mgSodium: 733mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 70g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Aimee

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on May 9, 2013

Comments & Reviews

  1. Hi – I have some stewing beef cubes in the freezer.  I was wondering if I could use that instead of a whole roast for this recipe? Also, I’m assuming the substitution would affect the cooking time?  It looks delicious! Thank-you!

  2. I made this in the pressure cooker yesterday AM and wound up adding 10 minutes to the pressure cooker. It turned out Really good but I’m going to do the crockpot next time as I think the flavors will be more intense. I shredded it then added a thinly sliced onion to it then spread it out on a jelly roll pan and put it under the broiler for ten minutes. I took the juice and strained off the fat added another 1/4 cup balsamic and 1/2 stick of butter and reduced it to about a half cup. I drizzled the sauce over both sides of hard rolls and added the meat. As a side I roasted asparagus with olive oil and kosher salt and served that with the sauce drizzled over it. The sauce is OUTSTANDING over the asparagus. THANK YOU for such a great recipe!!!

  3. I was trying to figure something interesting to do with this roast my Partner took out of the freezer 2 days ago so I went to Pinterest and found your recipe. I’m doing it in the pressure cooker for 25 minutes with plans to shred it then brown it a bit under the broiler something like you would do with carnitas then either serve it over rice or in a hard roll as you would do pulled pork. It smells incredible in the kitchen as I’m posting this. I hope my partner likes this. I’m the guy who does the interesting foods and he’s the one who does the stir frys. Thanks for this great idea.

  4. Made  this for Super Bowl Sunday and DANG!…it’s a Keeper.  We rate 5 out of 5. Super easy too.   I ended up with a 3.5 lb roast but made the full recipe for the sauce. I also seared the roast before putting into the crock pot and strained the sauce afterwards.  Absolutely delicious.  Thank you for sharing!!  

  5. I’ve had this pinned forever and am finally making it tonight. I’m a professional organizer and I tell people that the slow cooker is their best friend. Looking forward to it!

    1. ENJOY!!! Ironically, we have the pork version in our crockpot tonight!! It’s such a family favorite recipe 🙂

  6. Hi! I’m new to the slow cooker world and just wondered about doing a smaller version of this? I have a little 2 quart slow cooker (just for the two of us), so I would have to do a smaller roast. Should I half the entire recipe then? And would it still cook for 6 hours? Recipe sounds so wonderful I really want to try it out!

  7. Oh good lord, this dish is absolutely amazing! I stumbled across your recipe via Pinterest (who doesn’t love Pinterest?!) and decided it sounded delicious and pretty easy to make. I asked for a slow cooker this Christmas just gone, so I have been so excited to put it to use and I have to say thank you SO much for sharing this recipe. It has gone straight to our Top 5 favourites list in our household. My boyfriend said it was “the best thing I’ve ever eaten; a 12 out of 10”. The best part is, there is a surplus of meat so we were even thinking of incorporating half of the leftovers into a whole new dish, with pasta or something like it, to really get the most out of that one cut of meat. Thanks again! x

    1. I love to hear when people enjoy my recipes!! Thanks so much for stopping back! And it’s definitely a 12 out of 10 🙂

  8. I tried this recipe out last night and was pleasantly surprised. There was still an hour left on the crockpot when I got home and waited until my 8 hours were up to shred the beef with a fork. The meat was so tender and juicy. I served my balsamic beef with mashed potatoes, green beans and carrots. Thanks so much for this recipe. It’s a winner in our home.

  9. Planning on making this for dinner soon, but have London Broil on hand instead of chuck roast. Would it still work? Would the cooking time be any different? Thank you!!

  10. Aarrgghhh…I made this today and my beef was tough, not shreddable 🙁 I had it on low for 5 hours and it was 4 lbs..help!!!!

    1. The recipe is for 6-8 hours for a 4-5lb roast. That extra hour (to two hours) really makes a difference!!

  11. I made this tonight it smelled so good all day. It was really tasty too. I did sear my roast first with some dehydrated garlic, fresh pepper, and a little salt in olive oil than I didnt have beef stock so I subbed some chicken stock in the marinade and had a little left so I deglazed the pan with that and poured it over the roast in the crock pot. I made mashed potatoes to go with it. I also mixed a little cornstarch with cold water and added that to the au jus and boiled it till it was a nice gravy and it was perfect. I have quite a bit left over so im thinking they might be good in chimichangas tomorrow………..

  12. Made this last night for my book club. Served it on mashed potatoes, with roasted green beans on the side. And enough leftovers for Sunday meal with my husband. It was great!

  13. This was delish! I first served it with some mushrooms & mashed potatoes. The next day, I cooked some with the leftover need broth, kale & wheat pasta. I wish the sauce was a touch thicker but it was so good both ways! Thanks!

  14. I made this tonight with sautéed kale and garlic mashed potatoes. Absolutely delicious! My husband is super picky and he loved it. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  15. My wife is on a highly restricted sodium diet. that means the soy sauce and kosher salt is ‘out’. How critical are they to this recipe? What could i substitute in their place… anything? This looks so good i’d love to make it! Thanks for your thoughts.

  16. My gluten free husband hasn’t had a roast in a year since his diagnosis…I switched the soy to gluten free soy sauce and otherwise followed the recipe exactly. He just saod this is the best roast he’s ever had in his entire life. THANK YOU!

  17. I made this the other night with venison instead of beef and it was delicious!
    I am doing a round-up of our favorite freezer-to-crock pot recipes, and I was wondering if I could include an image from this recipe in my blog post. (Linking back to this recipe, of course!) Thank you!

  18. Aimee,
    I have made this twice now and absolutely love it! For some reason the gravy comes out much lighter than yours is pictured and is very thin. It tastes amazing but I wish it were a bit thicker. Is yours a thin sauce or does it thicken? I was thinking of trying to reduce the sauce and then add the meat back to that. Let me know what I’m doing wrong! Thanks,
    Melani

  19. This looks so rich and delicious! It’s on my to do list for the week, thank you! I just pinned it. Love your website! 🙂

  20. What a yummy twist on roast! We enjoyed this recipe, and I linked to it on my blog to share with others. Thanks for sharing it!

  21. I have made this dish several times now and it’s always amazing!! I have made it with pork tenderloin instead of beef on several occasions and we love it more that way! So good and tender. I use the excess juices to make gravy and it’s so delicious! Thanks for a great recipe!!

  22. Made this for Sunday dinner! Oh my goodness! It was amazing! I didn’t have any beef broth so I used a packet of brown gravy. The smell of the vinegar in the beginning was a bit strong but after simmering all day, the house smelled amazing! My 21 yo son had thirds and ate the meager left-overs the next day for lunch! Thank you so much for a new recipe in my rotation!

  23. Made this last night and it was amazing! I used a 2lb chuck roast (for 2 of us) and had plenty of leftovers too. The flavors were sensational. Thanks for a great go to recipe!

      1. I am not a big deer fan but this was awesome. I didn’t have red pepper flakes so I used jalapeño flakes. Both kids had seconds and thirds. Thank you for the recipe. It’s definitely a keeper.

  24. I marinated this in the sauce for one hour then cooked it on low for 3 hours and it is tough, definitely not able to shred it. What am I doing wrong? It was a smaller roast, only 3.5 lbs, but the adjusted cooking time should have helped. I can’t for the life of me get a tender roast in my crock pot (and I bought a different one just to make sure it wasn’t my crock pot). 🙁

    1. Hmmm….I don’t think 3 hours is nearly enough time to cook even a small roast. Try to do 6 hrs on low. I’ve made many crock pot roasts, and never had a problem but I’ve always let mine go all day while I’m at work. Gonna try this one this weekend!

      1. No, I would say regardless of the size of roast, you want to cook it 6 hours minimum. Better off longer to get that nice shred!! Enjoy.

    2. I had a 3.5lb round roast and I still did almost 7 hrs. It was moist and tender but definitely couldn’t have shredded it with a fork. It was the first time for me too doing a full roast and don’t know if I it was the cut or if I just have a super slow slow cooker. Also, is the gravy more like a jus? I assumed I would have a thicker sauce consistency but it was jus-like thin.

      1. It is more like an au jus. It could have been your cut of meat for sure, but 7 hours it should have shredded! not sure what to tell you!

  25. I made the Balsamic Beef tonight! OUTTA SITE!! It came out great. M first Pinterest recipe I’ve made! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  26. Hi, I was just wondering if you could use other types of roasts such as a bottom round roast/ I just bought one on sale and wanted to use it. Thanks, Sue

  27. I tried this tonight for dinner and it was outstanding. We loved it! I was afraid it would be too sweet, but it had just the right amount of sweetness. I served it on a hoagie bun with the juice on the side for dipping. Next time I will add more red pepper, but that is just personal preference. Thanks for the great recipe :~)

  28. Hello, just wondering if we could use pressure cooker for this? if so, how long do you think it will take. Will appreciate for you answer. Cheers, thank you.

  29. I absolutely love this recipe!!! I am making it again and am wondering how much adding carrots and cubed potatoes to it (like a traditional pot roast) would change the flavor) and when should I add them? Thank you!! =)

  30. Hey Aimee,

    I am looking for a recipe to use for hot sandwiches. Do you think this would be good for a hot beef sandwich or do you think the flavor is to bold for sandwiches and is better with potatoes?

    Thanks!

    1. It wouldn’t be bad, but it is great with potatoes. Here is a french dip sammie recipe: https://www.shugarysweets.com/slow-cooker-french-dip-sammies

  31. I normally dont leave comments but I made this today for dinner and it was AMAZING. I made it and put it over noodles. Your brain thinks your going to bite into a beef tip and gravy then your taste buds are like woot woot back the truck up…whats this sweet goodness you gave us. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I usually use a thawed roast, so that the flavors don’t get diluted with the juices as much. However, if you add some time on to your cooking time, you certainly could use a frozen roast. You may also want to add extra seasonings… ENJOY.

  32. I’m going to follow in your footsteps – I also tried balsamic vinegar for the first time with that pork tenderloin recipe (or one very similar anyway). I passed that recipe on to a friend, who has made it four times in the last month (yes, that’s once per week – she has five children and a husband who demand it that often!)! After I make this one, I’ll share this recipe with her too. 🙂

  33. Thank you for a wonderful recipe. I made this yesterday and it was a hit! We are enjoying the leftovers. I’m going to have to start with a larger roast next time so i have extras for freezing.

  34. Wow, I think we were separated at birth! I’ve often joked if it wasn’t for the slow cooker we’d have starved years ago. Kids now 7 & 4 and still using it. Had to replace it last year, it was a wedding present also! Nearly had a conniption fit when it broke down. It took just 24 hours to source & replace! 🙂 Will deffo try this recipe thanks for sharing!

  35. Oh my gosh I heart anything with balsamic in it. I HAVE to try this with my next roast!!!

  36. I made this yesterday and it is DELICIOUS! My husband and I loved it. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I would love to know how this would turn out without the brown sugar. I’m diabetic and watch my carbs very closely, so omitting the sugar would make this the perfect meal. However, I don’t think I’m willing to risk 5 pounds of meat without hearing how others have faired.

      1. I’m in the same diabetic boat Charity, as is my husband, and I’ve read every comment here to no avail. With the price of beef these days, I also don’t want to be the first to risk it, but I think I’ll pin it for my friends anyway. If I’m sneaky about it, maybe I can convince one of them to take the risk for me. lol

  37. Wow! That looks delicious! My husband would love this with the balsamic vinegar. The mashed potatoes look fabulous too!

  38. This sounds absolutely delicious! I love anything with balsamic : ) I really need to use my slow-cooker more often … I only use it every once in a while on the weekends..

    1. Definitely pull it out this week and give this beef a try! Especially if you love balsamic 🙂

  39. Our slow cookies is almost as old, and probably as nasty, but it works! I love having a new go to slow cooker recipe, our lives just keeping getting crazier too! Thanks Aimee! Gorgeous picture by the way!

  40. It’s amazing how long slow cookers can last (Or kitchen stuff in general!). My parents just got a new one and they’ve been married 25 years. I LOVE balsamic. I’m going ot pass this on to my parents!

  41. We love balsamic in my house, this beef is sounds so good! Lots of great flavor, and dinner waiting for you is always good!

  42. I am always looking for delicious crock pot recipes. They are definitely a life saver for a busy family! This looks like a winner!

  43. Your a genius! Balsamic! Yumm, I must try this recipe soon. I love my slow cooker too! I’m always looking for new recipes, thanks so much!

  44. I love juicy and tender shredded beef! And I love the crockpot and how little effort it requires!

  45. This recipe has my taste buds going crazy! Balsamic with spy sauce and brown sugar sounds amazing! It would pair so well with beef. I love slow cooker meals too — I’m so pinning this!

  46. Oh my goodness, this looks SO mouthwatering, Aimee! Definitely a must-make for me. We should all remember to use our CrockPots this time of year!

  47. I agree life does seem a whole lot busier now. Now I wish I hadn’t been so eager to get past the busy baby stage 🙂 All your crock pot recipes have me inspired to pull out mine for this summer.

    1. I know. I remember people telling me to enjoy the moment it goes so fast. How very very true…

  48. It’s getting warmer rather quickly and I know I’m not going to want to turn my oven on soon – this is an awesome dinner idea Aimee! And over those mashed potatoes? Comfort food to the MAX 😀

  49. This looks fantastic! I love using my slow cooker, especially when I have to work and don’t want to make dinner when I get home. Definitely need to give this recipe a try!

  50. This looks amazing, Aimee! I love shredded beef and pork in the slow cooker. I wish I had some right now!

  51. I remember thinking: when she gets to Kinder, life will be easier and slower.

    HAHAAHAHHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA.

    I love your slow cooker meals, and my family is going to love this one!

  52. This looks awesome! We need to use our slow cooker more, and I don’t cook nearly enough with balsamic vinegar. I want to pick a roast at the store this weekend and try your recipe next week!

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